BITE-SIZED

ON ISLAND TIME

A decade-old taco stand welcomes 
its sister brick-and-mortar taco joint

The ahi burger is a burger-shaped mound of fresh yellowfin tuna steak that’s seasoned and served on a soft whole-wheat bun. It’s topped with a cilantro pesto, crisp red cabbage, shreds of cheddar and jack cheese and homemade baja sauce.
Caron Streibich
There are several taco options on the menu. I opted for a shrimp taco and fresh mahi mahi taco — both topped with crunchy cabbage, creamy baja sauce and shredded cheese.
Caron Streibich
The Mermaid Wrap
Caron Streibich
Photos of surf scenes and summer moments line the walls at each booth.
Caron Streibich
Nalu’s offers a simple fresh red salsa and a sweeter chopped tomatillo-based green salsa.
Caron Streibich
Daily specials are posted just outside the front door of Nalu’s. Thanks to this board, the Mermaid Wrap immediately caught my eye — and piqued my interest.
Caron Streibich
Small and laid-back, Nalu’s Tropical Takeout has a few tables inside and a handful outside. Order at the counter, then grab a seat.
Caron Streibich
Tucked away in a small strip center on Santa Maria Boulevard in St. Augustine, Nalu’s is perfect for a quick bite in or out.
Caron Streibich
Photo
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Posted

926 Santa Maria Blvd., Food cart at 1020 Anastasia Blvd.

794-0405

What started as a taco stand in St. Augustine more than 10 years ago has transformed into a small, laid-back eatery in St. Augustine Shores. Since nothing on the menu is priced over $10, Nalu's is a great spot for dining in or grabbing a bite 
on the run.

A chalkboard outside the door displays specials, and I was immediately enticed by the Mermaid Wrap ($9): seared Cajun ahi tuna, sticky rice with cilantro pesto and soy sauce and diced cucumber, all happily tucked away in a toasted spinach wrap. It was a magical blend of ingredients and flavors, and I'd certainly order it again.

The Ahi Burger ($9) is a burger-shaped mound of fresh yellowfin tuna steak that's seasoned and served on a soft whole-wheat bun. Topped with a cilantro pesto, crisp pieces of red cabbage, shreds of cheddar and jack cheeses and homemade baja sauce, it was nicely portioned.

After observing the "Best Tacos in St. Augustine" embellishment on the menu, we also ordered two tacos — one shrimp, one blackened mahi. Both arrived on flour tortillas piled haphazardly with cabbage, shredded cheese, cilantro pesto and a drizzle of thick, creamy baja sauce. Of the two, the mahi was better; the fish was juicy, nicely seasoned and, perhaps most important, full of flavor.

Most tacos and burgers are served with your choice of side — beans and rice, corn tortilla chips and salsa (red or verde), or a simple salad tossed with light mango dressing, garnished with cucumber slices and a sprinkling of sunflower seeds.

Nalu's serves only wild-caught fish (no farm-raised nonsense here!), making for really flavorful tacos, burritos and sashimi. And fresh is the name of the game: The eatery's sauces, salsas, soups and pestos are crafted using fresh ingredients from a local farmers' market and various area produce stands.

Kids will go crazy for the assortment of cleverly named shaved Hawaiian ices ($2-$3), such as luau lime, big kahuna cherry and da cotton candy kine.

The original location still stands (no pun intended) in the parking lot of popular surf shop The Surf Station, off Anastasia Boulevard, and is open year-round for a quick, casual bite.

No comments on this story | Add your comment
Please log in or register to add your comment
 
Download our dojax app
What do you think? Browse
Do you think the pension deal is good for Jacksonville?
Post your review here …